Monthly Archives: September 2015

Benefits of Server Management Via Virtualization

Virtualization is a way to improve the overall efficiency of your servers and reduces your dependency on hardware.

Virtualization is a way to improve the overall efficiency of your servers and reduces your dependency on hardware.

In layman’s terms, IT virtualization deals with improving the efficiency of physical servers. Virtualization is a concept that can be a applied to computers, operating systems, and different forms of data storage that are regularly used in servers. Server virtualization helps allocate data and application, creating access points for employers and employees. Organizations and businesses are challenged by x86 servers, which are too inefficient to handle different applications and operating systems. Even relatively small data centers have to utilize several servers, with most operating at an inefficient capacity. Virtualization steps in to simulate the abilities of servers with a practical, effective framework. Businesses and IT organizations can run multiple operating systems on a single server, saving time, allowing for the migration of virtual machines to other servers, as well as allocate resources between different machines. Here are some specific benefits you can enjoy by employing virtualization in your intel management system:

Virtualization Saves Energy Costs, Affordability. Virtualization is changing IT and the monitoring of information, providing efficiencies that aren’t capable with physical servers. Migrating physical servers into virtualized ones enables you to consolidate many processes into fewer servers. This is a stand-alone benefit, with companies enjoying the benefits of a lower electrical footprint with lower monthly costs. The cost effectiveness of virtualized servers is a benefit that was underlined in the early 2000s – and it’s still is an advantage.

Efficient Downsizing and Reduce Center Size. Virtualization allows you to use fewer servers, reducing the amount of space needed for servers. Developing companies with volatile funding will particularly enjoy the scalability of virtualization.

Better, More Efficient Access To Information. Virtualization allows you to pull data from servers at a whim, with many capabilities using apps and software that are easily accessible. With virtualization, you can clone, edit, and modify a server in minutes. System provisioning and deployment can be done in a moment’s notice.

Virtualization For Effortless Backup of Data. Not only do you want backups of your virtual machines, you also want to be able to have restore points, where you can go back to “snapshots”. Virtualization has made it intuitive to backup your machine and upload it to other servers, with the process being accessible and seamless. Compared to the upkeep of physical machines, virtualization reduces downtime.

Efficient Testing Of Data. Physical servers are linear, with very little room to experiment or employ cutting-edge technologies. Virtual machines allow for a bit more playroom with a testing environment that can easily be restored during an unsavory event. Virtualization is the best testing environment, for you can restore to a previous snap chat of your virtual machine.

Freedom of Vendors And Easy Migration to the Cloud. Virtualization of your IT processes allows you to test different hardware vendors that are compatible with the software, allowing you to select the best hardware that is conducive to your strategic needs. Cloud storage also allows for secure migration of data. Virtualization of your machine is closely tied to cloud storage, allowing for cloud-based infrastructure. Cloud storage is encrypted, safe, and allows for seamless, up to date information on all servers.

Virtualization Improves Disaster Recovery Exponentially. By removing the dependency of hardware, a particular type of model, or the use of numerous physical servers, businesses can easily replicate data saved in their virtualized machines. Backup of physical servers is obtrusive, with physical servers simply failing due to age or external factors. Virtualization create an environment where data recovery and management is not only intuitive, but it’s a process that is automatic. To learn more about how you virtualization can help reduce cost and improve the efficiency of your current hardware, contact us.

Ensure You are Not Caught Unawares By IT Problems

Monthly IT Management Reporting is an important part of keeping your business, customers and data safe.

Monthly IT Management Reporting is an important part of keeping your business, customers and data safe.

There are two ways to deal with unplanned IT failure: to insure and to ensure against it. These two words, to insure and to ensure are often confused in people’s minds, but understanding the difference between the two is essential to creating the best IT security and recovery system.


To insure something is to put in place a safety net in the case something goes wrong. That is why you purchase car insurance against the event that you have a car wreck. Most people do not experience a car wreck and so their insurance policy is worthless to them, until they do.

To ensure against an adverse event is to set up systems to make as certain as possible that you will not have a negative event in the first place. Cars are ensured against wrecks by required licensing, insurance companies ensure their product by offering discounts to safe drivers, drivers over a certain age, etc. Stoplights, stop-signs and turnabouts are all systems local governments put in place to ensure against wrecks at intersections.

Application to IT

While many people understand insurance from a legal/industrial position, they do not understand the idea of insurance that motivates industry practices like RAID redundancy and nightly server back-ups. These are all practices that put in place a recovery plan in the event that servers crash or other unplanned events cause a loss in your data.

On the other hand, activities like IT Monthly Management Reporting, anti-malware software, and virus monitoring ensure that your software and hardware will run as optimized as possible. This in turn prevents many of the problems that reduce the life of your servers.

Ensurance acts to prevent a problem, insurance creates a back-up in the event that the problem occurs. Most people understand the importance of insurance (backups) for their business IT systems, but many do not understand the importance of ensurance.

Ensure Your Data Systems

There are several steps you need to take to ensure that your systems operate at their best and prevent data loss and server failure as much as possible. Regular monitoring for viruses and security is essential for problem prevention. Monthly comprehensive IT management reports give your IT team the tools necessary to locate problem areas before they get too serious and to accurately address problems.

To properly ensure you are not caught unawares by data problems, these monitoring and reporting activities must be integrated into your regular IT routine. Your IT team must understand the strengths of your servers and your network and address any issues as they arise.

Benefits of Active IT Maintenance

Purposeful IT maintenance and problem prevention provides additional benefits beyond preventing data loss. Increased data security, budget planning, and systems management are all results of building a system of monthly proactive IT management.

Data security is essential for businesses of all size, as seen by the high-profile hacks in the last few years in the news. Although it is impossible to prevent all security leaks, active maintenance will give you the best response possible to outside threats while well-implemented security protocols will provide your best prevention of internal security threats.

Finding the right IT system for your budget is always difficult, but doing so without the right information at hand is nearly impossible. Unless you know how your current system is performing with regular reporting, you cannot know whether the really nice servers your team requested are necessary or merely nice. With monthly reports of all your IT management, you will have accurate and timely information on which to base your budget decisions.

The power of proactive management of your IT ensures against many of the threats businesses face in the technology market today. For more information about management reporting and active monitoring, please contact us today.

Using ACT! Contact Management Software to Create a Winning Loyalty Program

ACT! Contact Management Software helps you to monitor and foster customer loyalty.

ACT! Contact Management Software helps you to monitor and foster customer loyalty.

Small business owners often struggle with the idea of how to design a loyalty program that really works to increase revenue and keep customers coming back for more. Unlike their larger competitors, many small businesses lack the resources to undertake a major customer loyalty program initiative.

Can ACT! Contact Management Software help with loyalty programs? The answer is a resounding “yes”. Here are a few things to consider when designing a loyalty program:

1) Define your loyalty program goals.

Sounds simple, right? You may be thinking that the main goal of a loyalty program is simply keeping customers. However, it is essential to drill more deeply. For instance, goals of your loyalty program might be to motivate additional spending by existing customers, to expand the existing relationship between your company and your customers, or to encourage upgrades or cross-sells. Each of these objectives would dictate a change in the basic structure of your loyalty program. So, to craft a cohesive strategy, you must prioritize your goals. Your ACT!CRM will help you to do this by providing valuable data about your customers and what they are looking for in terms of rewards or incentives.

2) Know When to Hold and When to Fold

The simple truth is that not all customers are created equal. ACT! CRM software allows you to see which customers are worth an extra investment. Realistically speaking, you will always have some once-and-done customers who purchase your product or service and never return for more. CRM helps you prioritize your customers according to their level of engagement with your company.

Armed with that analysis, you can craft your loyalty program to specifically target the customers most likely to spend again. These paying customers are the ones you want participating in your loyalty programs.

The concept of discarding potential customers may seem foreign, as standard marketing practice is to work a lead until there is no hope of engagement left. But remember this: loyalty programs cost money. And money spent to lure a customer unlikely to become loyal is akin to money squandered away. There is a fine line between reclaiming a straying customer and discarding a losing investment. The trick is to define that line, and understand when not to cross it.

Your CRM software can help you to do this successfully by segmenting your customer base into several categories like:

  • the once-and-done customer
  • the casual friend of your business
  • the brand loyalist
  • the brand advocate

Obviously, your loyalty program must cater to the brand loyalists and advocates. But it is also important to woo the casual friend of your business. With appropriate lead nurturing accomplished with the use of your CRM software, you can turn a casual friend into a loyalist.

3) Monitor Costs in Multiple Ways

When considering your loyalty program design, you must carefully count the cost of each component. For instance, if your loyalty program is based on discounts, at what point are the profits from loyalty program participants likely to be less than the costs of administering the program? CRM is not a crystal ball, and cannot predict outcomes exactly. However, the understanding you gain about your customers through an effective CRM solution will help you to make some solid assumptions and find a loyalty program that balances risks and rewards appropriately.

4) Have a Good Exit Strategy

As with any business initiative, loyalty programs carry their own particular brand of risk. Appropriately measuring the success of your loyalty program over time with metrics captured by your CRM software is essential to the effectiveness of the program itself and the profitability of your business as a whole.

Knowing that your loyalty program may one day outlast its usefulness as a tool to drive profitability, it is wise to build into your initial loyalty program blueprint an appropriate exit strategy. Here are some components of a well-designed exit strategy:

  • Build a defined expiration date into your program from the very beginning. This keeps customer expectation in line with reality. If your program is wildly successful and profitable for your business, you can always extend the program deadlines with an upbeat “Good News” email campaign.
  • In the event you decide to stick to your original program deadline, be sure to give your loyalty program participants adequate time to use their points, rewards, or discounts before program termination. This is another appropriate time to use your CRM automation features to send out a targeted email with informative content to your customers.
  • Craft any exit communication in the best, most diplomatic way possible to avoid alienating loyal customers. Maintain a steady stream of upbeat, informative content to ease the transition. Utilize your CRM analytic functionality to capture and contain customer reaction.

Following these tips, you can craft a winning loyalty program utilizing the full potential of ACT! CRM software. If you would like to know more about how ACT! CRM can work for your business, please  contact us. We will help you get started with a 30-day free trial today.

The Virtual IT Help Desk: What Is It? What Are Some of the Benefits?

Virtual IT Help Desks allow customers to receive fast and friendly tech support.

Virtual IT Help Desks allow customers to receive fast and friendly tech support.

You may have heard of the virtual IT Help Desk, but you may not know what it is, or what the many benefits entail. In this blog, we will go over what having a virtual IT help desk entails, what the benefits of a virtual IT help desk are, and why you should enlist our aid to obtain a virtual IT help desk.

What is a virtual IT Help Desk?

Better known as a remote IT help desk, the virtual IT help desk is one of the most essential parts of an office today. The virtual IT help desk is around 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, to help your office. This will allow all the users to get in touch with a skilled IT tech whenever they want, and to get your questions answered in a quick amount of time.

The virtual IT help desk relies on technology (specifically, software) and the Internet to give your technician access to your computer system. For this reason, your technician doesn’t have to be on-site in order to work for you. Needless to say, outsourcing this resource saves you money…but that’s one of the many benefits of the virtual IT help desk.

The benefits of the virtual IT help desk

  • A virtual IT team requires the best talent — so you know you’re going to get nothing but the best. When a virtual IT team goes to work, that’s all they work on — they don’t answer phones or do marketing or any other sundry work. They simply work on IT — which means that they’re the best in their field.
  • A virtual IT team can be assembled from every corner of the world. This means that your team can be available, in varying shifts, 24/7/365.
  • Because a virtual IT team works on a contract basis, and not in-house, the costs are significantly lower for much more specialized work.
  • A virtual IT team uses call center software to streamline their work flow…they can handle hundreds, if not thousands, of accounts this way! Talk about efficiency.

Why should you hire a virtual IT help desk?

Here is a list of reasons why you, and your company, should outsource your virtual IT help:

  • Your overhead costs will be lowered — aside from saving money on payroll, you will be saving money on operations costs, such as utilities and on-site resources.
  • You can easily scale up — or down — as your company’s needs change without any concern about hiring and/or firing.
  • IT professionals not only form the perfect help desk, they can actually help your company implement new software, including call center software and CRM software.
  • Because they’re not in the office with you, there’s no distractions to decrease office productivity. They can literally be on the job all the time, whenever you need them to be.
  • Because your professionals don’t have to commute to wherever it is you need them to go, they can keep the focus on the job at hand.
  • Best of all, this is a natural fit for companies who don’t need to keep their employees in the office. This would allow your customers — and your employees — to get a hold of an IT professional at any time.

SystemsNet has been providing businesses with a reliable source for complete network solutions for almost 20 years.

We maintain a staff of highly qualified network specialists, application developers, systems administrators, and ACT! Certified Consultants. Whether you need help desk support, hardware and software support or installation, network troubleshooting, spam filtering, or any other type of IT support, SystemsNet can help.

Contact us today to discuss your IT needs. We promise to get the job done for you!